The atom

The atom

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  • Everything is composed of "atoms", which are physically, but not geometrically, indivisible; that between atoms, there lies empty space; that atoms are indestructible, and have always been and always will be in motion; that there is an infinite number of atoms and of kinds of atoms, which differ in shape and size.
  • Democritus
  • Atoms of a given element are identical in size, mass and other properties; atoms of different elements differ in size, mass and other properties: Atoms of different elements combine in simple whole-number ratios to form chemical compounds: In chemical reactions, atoms are combined, separated or rearranged.
  • John Dalton
  •  One of the fundamental units was more than 1,000 times smaller than an atom: Thomson discovered this through his explorations on the properties of cathode rays: the rays were composed of very light, negatively charged particles which were a universal building block of atoms. He called the particles "corpuscles", but later scientists preferred the name electron.
  • J. J. Thomson
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